Francistown City Council (FCC) Mayor, Sylvia Muzila, says her municipality has identified an investor to construct a new central business district (CBD) as part of measures to address the city’s congestion crisis.
The new CBD expected to be constructed on a large piece of land currently known as the Francistown Golf Course is aimed at decongesting the country’s second city whose growth has been moving at a snail’s pace.
FCC has now identified a joint venture between China Civil Engineering Construction and Bothakga Burrow (Pty) Ltd as the qualifying investor to transform a 42 hectare piece of land into a modern CBD.
She told the ongoing full council meeting on Monday: “Let me inform this house that China Civil Engineering Construction-Bothakga Burrow (Pty) Ltd joint venture has been identified as the qualifying investor”.
This was after the council floated an expression of interest for the design, servicing, developing, management and transfer of the development of the FCC at the expiry of the agreement which is yet to be made public, she said.
“The qualifying investor has been given the intention to tender (ITT) documents on the 27th of July this year and is expected to submit on October 13 2017. The contractor is currently undertaking consultations with the relevant stakeholders,” Muzila added.
She said the 42 hectare business plot has been lying idle and is currently being used as a golf course. According to Muzila, the city’s vision is to develop this plot into a CBD by building modern offices, a convention centre, hotels, offices and even a mall as part of efforts to transform Francistown into an investment hub by 2022.
Muzila said currently bush-clearing in the area was ongoing while the investor is busy with consultations with relevant stakeholders.
She said the only problem they used to have of lack of funding has finally been solved.
Speaking at a Public Private Partnership (PPP) seminar hosted by Barclays Bank in Francistown late last year, Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Minister, Prince Maele, urged the council to partner with the private sector.
He further pleaded with the private sector to also partner with the city council in developing Francistown. Maele agreed with Muzila that PPPs are important as they can help build the much needed infrastructure such as roads, dams, street lights and sanitation.